Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dubai-based Cocos Restaurant & Bakery – Welcome to Riyadh

After nearly 2 yrs and 4 months of waiting since moving here, my all-time favourite restaurant from Dubai - Cocos Restaurant & Bakery - has finally opened up in Riyadh. The best bit was that it opened in the Olaya area on Tahaliya street, but the worst bit is I no longer live in that area, otherwise at every opportunity I would be dining there.

In any case atleast it’s arrived. Cocos Riyadh opened its doors beginning of April and being their ardent fan, I simply had to visit them (we went there on 10 April 2012...yup I’m a bit late in writing this review), not so much to see what they are like but if they are as good as they are in Dubai. And, least to say I was impressed. Everything was simply perfect – the food, the ambience, the service. We went in just about Isha time, and no surprise the restaurant was practically empty. The restaurant is set-up very nicely with dim purple lights, perfect spacious cabins for Saudi style family privacy with sliding doors, and just like Dubai, they have the bakery in the restaurant itself. Oh! how excited I was from the moment I walked in. When they handed us the menu and tried to explain the top favourites, I announced to them how I was no newcomer to Cocos and how very fond I am of them since my Dubai days. I mean literally every twice a month, me and my friends would dine at Cocos in Dubai. They have 3 branches there – Sheikh Zayed Road, Deira City Centre and JBR – and I’ve been to all 3 of them. They serve all kinds of cuisine - Mexican, Italian, Indian, Chinese and much more. Anyways coming back to Riyadh, both me and my husband ordered our below all-time favourites:

Cheese Nachos (SR 53) – oh how absolutely perfect these were.

Main Course:
Tortilla Crusted Chicken (SR 59) – served with mashed potato/fries, veggies and black beans. It was as perfect, crispy, tender, and delicious as can be (exact taste like Dubai, no wonder both my husband and I ordered the same dish). The dish also comes with a free treat - soup of the day or salad. Yet again both hubby and I ordered our favourite Creamy Broccoli soup.

Cajun Chicken Sandwich (SR 40)– served with fries

The portions are so big that it would be tough to finish everything on the plate in one go. That said I did try my best :) By the end of it, we were so full that we just couldn’t have any dessert. During our meals, the Chef paid us a visit and told us how he got trained at Cocos in Dubai to perfect the menu for Riyadh. Not to mention even some of the servers/waiters had also got trained by Dubai-based staff. And, it shows.

I’m just so glad that they lived up to my very high expectations. Other than the above, in Dubai I’ve tried, and recommend their Fajitas, Quesadillas, Pastas etc. I’m sure they will be ditto in taste here.  

I wish the Cocos Riyadh team the very best. I’m sure we’ll have more of Cocos branches all over the kingdom soon.

For all you diners, make sure you pay Cocos Restaurant in Riyadh a won’t regret it.